THE Premier League is working on a contingency plan that could see matches resume on June 1 and enable the current season to be completed in a six-week window to mid-July.

With the coronavirus outbreak worsening, the Premier League campaign has been postponed until at least April 30, in line with all of Europe’s major leagues.

There is already a private acceptance that recommencing matches in early May is extremely unlikely, but if the Premier League is to achieve its stated aim of playing out the current season to its conclusion, matches will have to begin in early June if the 2020-21 campaign is to start in early August as planned.

Premier League planners are reportedly working on a proposal that would see matches resume from June 1 and almost certainly take place behind-closed-doors. UEFA’s decision to push back Euro 2020 to 2021 has bought Europe’s domestic leagues some time, but with most medical estimates predicting the UK’s coronavirus peak will not arrive until mid-summer, it is far from clear whether a June resumption date is realistic.

Playing games behind-closed-doors would be a potential solution, although the government would still have to sanction the stationing of emergency medical crews at matches in order for them to take place, something that might be problematicif the NHS is under major strain.

Even if Premier League matches were to restart in June, teams would still have to cram around nine games into a six-week period in order to complete the fixture list, a schedule that would be further compromised by matches in the FA Cup, Champions League and Europa League.

Premier League officials are reluctant to finish the current season later than mid-July, as they do not want to have to push the 2020-21 season back and create further fixture complications in the autumn and winter. As things stand, the 2020-21 season would have to finish on time in order to accommodate a rescheduled European Championships.

The coronavirus pandemic continues to play havoc with the global sporting schedule, although the IOC continues to insist that the Olympics and Paralympics will take place in Tokyo this summer as planned.

US Track and Field issued a statement this weekend in which they described putting the Games back as the “right and responsible thing to do”, and leading athlete organisation, Global Athlete, also called on the IOC to rethink their current plans.

Horseracing’s prestigious Dubai World Cup meeting is the latest major event to have bitten the dust. It had been expected to take place at Meydan behind-closed-doors on Saturday, with appropriate measures in place.

However, despite many of the participants taking part in routine exercise on the Meydan track yesterday morning, a statement was issued in the afternoon saying the card had been postponed.